During the 2016 presidential election cycle, conventional wisdom among the financial elites was that a Trump victory would send markets in turmoil.
British bank, Barclays, predicted the S&P 500 would lose 11% – 13% if Trump won, but would rise two to three percent if Hillary won. Citibank predicted a five percent drop-off under a Trump victory. J.P. Morgan predicted a three percent rise following a Hillary victory, compared to markets “falling further” if Trump won. They appeared correct at first. As the night progressed on November 8th, and it became clear that Trump would emerge the victor, winning key battleground states, futures on the Dow Jones index plunged 750 points.
Economics Nobel Laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman observed observed that “markets are plunging,” writing, “if the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.” By the time the market opened the following morning, the futures had reversed most of their losses, and the major indexes closed higher than the day before.
From that point on, the market has been on a tear, closing on a record number of consecutive record highs, and passing the 20,000 mark for the first time today.
Wall Street’s bull should keep running even after its race to Dow 20,000 from its last thousand-point milestone, but it’s much more likely to slow to a trot before it reaches 21,000.
The Dow crossed 19,000 on Nov. 22 and continued to gain, as the Trump trade swept the market higher. The best performing Dow stocks since then are Goldman Sachs, Disney and Boeing.
Gains in Caterpillar, Boeing, JPMorgan and Travelers helped push the Dow across the 20,000 marker on the opening Wednesday.
The previous record for a 1,000-point gain was 24 days from the time the Dow first crossed 10,000 to 11,000, in 1999. “Normally it takes 24 months to go from each thousand-point level. We did it in two months,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
Kellyanne Conway attributed it to the “Trump effect.”
The Trump Effect. https://t.co/wexrLY0ulp
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 25, 2017
Trump simply commented “Great!”
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 25, 2017
Some liberals have tried to downplay it, pointing to the growth in the stock market under President Obama.
"#ThankYouTrump for taking all the credit for the Dow Jones hitting 20,000 when I moved it from 6,000 to 19,000+." – Barack Obama
— Craig Rozniecki (@CraigRozniecki) January 25, 2017
Such comments are a bit misleading, of course, as Obama took office during a market downturn, so the market was artificially low. It’s much easier to grow a company (or in this term, the market as a whole) in terms of percentage increase when it’s already been beaten down.
Plus, the time-frame is obviously unequal. it took a little longer than two months for Obama’s stock market gains to materialize.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]